Daily Archives: June 22, 2009

Even FoxNews gets the significance of Pakistan’s World Cup Triumph

From FoxNews:

People on the streets of Pakistan shouting, banners waving and guns being fired— really nothing new as this country has been facing some very tough times over the last few years.  But those people on the streets late last night were not calling for the overthrow of the government or extremists chanting ‘death to America’ or even lawyers calling for judicial reform.  They were cricket fans celebrating Pakistan’s victory over Sri Lanka in the Twenty20 World Cup Championship.Now I know that cricket is lost on most of us Americans, and believe me, I have tried many times to understand it.  It’s tough.  But seeing the jubilation on the streets and in the parks of Pakistan late Sunday night when their team was victorious, it did not matter if you knew the difference between a wicket and home plate or an ‘out’ verses an ‘over.’ It was crystal clear that this victory was a ray of hope the Pakistani people direly needed.

Not only have recent terror attacks thrown the country into a state of preoccupation and hyper-alertness, but it had hit their beloved cricket as well.  A few months ago, terrorists struck a convoy of the visiting Sri Lankan team just before a game in Lahore.  After that, international cricket organizations stopped any major games from being played on Pakistani soil.  So that attack prevented most Pakistanis from seeing their national team contest in international tournaments.

With nearly 2 million displaced people in the northwest, a serious battle raging in the Swat Valley between the army and militants and another just starting to open down in South Waziritstan, good news and a little bit of hope are just what the doctor ordered.  The TV news anchors even appear to be holding back ear-to-ear grins as they recount the game and show footage of drum-playing and bouncing cricket fans from every corner of Pakistan.  Thanks to huge outdoor TV screens set up at several camps, thousands of the internal refugees were able to see the game.

To be honest , while watching the dancing on the streets, in the back of my mind I was thinking that these scenes are exactly the soft targets the Taliban militants have been targeting on a regular basis over the last few months.  Luckily my paranoia was unfounded and the celebrations went off without a hitch.

My true hope is that the people of Pakistan get to savor this victory, giving them the opportunity to see that there is light at the end of the tunnel.  It’s a long and tough tunnel to travel through, but there is an end.

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Stand Up For The Champions

by Natasha S

The T-20 World cup slogan by Pakistani sports media ‘Yeh game humara hai’ created to motivate the team and the nation proved not merely a slogan but a stamp attesting Pakistan’s certificate of achievement in the sports arena.The game is ours.Team Pakistan makes History again.Another World Cup trophy comes home after seventeen years. The nation went wild with high levels of adrenaline following yesterday’s finale at the historical Lord’s ground.The underdogs emerged as the  World champions once again.Team Pakistan proved yet again that they are the most unpredictable team in the World.They cannot be trusted.You can never over/underestimate them.They can lose to young teams like Ireland when you least expect them to and turn into champions by beating strong teams when you give up on them. Everything about Pakistan is unique and unpredictable , so is its cricket.We are truely a matchless nation. Continue reading

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Will we need to close the door to Pakistan’s dispossessed?

Our leaders are losing sleep over the Taliban’s advance and what that could spell for Britain

I would like to welcome Zahid Abdullah to Britain. He is a Pakistani student of English literature, rather than the snarling prose of the theocrats who threaten his country, and suffered the keenest blow a lover of books can take when he lost his sight. Undeterred, Abdullah divided his spare time between producing talking books for the blind and supporting the Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives, a pressure group that campaigns for the classic liberal causes of human rights, freedom of information and freedom from “barbaric acts of terrorism”. Continue reading

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Rethinking Islam (Part 3 of 3)

(From Ziauddin Sardar’s Islam, Postmodernism and Other Futures.)

But the violence performed to sacred Muslim concepts is insignificant compared to the reductive way the Qur’an and the sayings and examples of the Prophet Muhammad are bandied about. What the late Muslim scholar Fazlur Rahman called the ‘atomistic’ treatment of the Qur’an is now the norm: almost anything and everything is justified by quoting individual bits of verses out of context. After the September 11 event, for example, a number of Taliban supporters, including a few in Britain, justified their actions by quoting the following verse: ‘We will put terror into the hearts of the unbelievers. They serve other gods for whom no sanction has been revealed. Hell shall be their home’ (3:149). Yet, the apparent meaning attributed to this verse could not be further from the true spirit of the Qur’an. In this particular verse, the Qur’an is addressing the Prophet Muhammad himself. It was revealed during the battle of Uhad, when the small and ill-equipped army of the Prophet faced a much larger and better-equipped enemy. He was concerned about the outcome of the battle. The Qur’an reassures him and promises that the enemy will be terrified by the Prophet’s unprofessional army. Seen in its context, it is not a general instruction to all

Muslims; it is a commentary on what was happening at that time.

Similarly hadith are quoted to justify the most extreme behaviours. Continue reading

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